Winners Announced for 2016 Prudential Eye Awards for Contemporary Asian Art

Svay Sareth, Stake Or Skewer, 2015

Cambodian artist Svay Sareth has been named winner of two of this year’s cash prizes offered by the 2016 Prudential Eye Awards for Contemporary Asian Art.

Sareth, who fled his home in 1979, and learned art at a refugee camp, will receive thirty thousand dollars as the recipient of the overall best emerging artist award, together with the opportunity to exhibit at London’s Saatchi Gallery, according to the Straits Times’ Deepika Shetty. Sareth also won the twenty-thousand-dollar best emerging artist award for sculpture. Meanwhile India’s Manish Nai received the best emerging artist award for painting, and Bangladeshi artist Shumon Ahmed won for photography.

Thirty-nine art works by the fifteen shortlisted artists are on display at the ArtScience Museum until March.


July 28, 2016

Photographer Files $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Getty Images for Copyright Infringement

Carol Highsmith photo from Getty Image’s website.

Documentary photographer Carol Highsmith is suing Getty Images and Alamy for $1 billion for “gross misuse” of 18,755 of her photographs, Carey Dunne of Hyperallergic reports. Highsmith had previously donated all of her photographs to the Library of Congress so that the public could use her images without having to pay, but last December she discovered that the stock agencies were charging people for using her work. Highsmith only became aware of the issue after Getty Images sent her an email demanding that she pay $120 for featuring one of her photographs on her website.

According to the lawsuit, Getty and Alamy allegedly attached a false watermark to Highsmith’s photographs and sold thousands of licenses. The complaint reads: “The defendants [Getty Images] have apparently misappropriated Ms. Highsmith’s generous gift to the American people. [They] are not only unlawfully charging licensing fees…but are falsely and fraudulently holding themselves out as the exclusive copyright owner.”

Highsmith, whose work was featured in Smithsonian Magazine, Time, the New York Times, and the Washington Post Magazine, has been documenting all fifty states through her This is America! Foundation—a nonprofit whose mission is to produce a visual study of the United States in the early twenty-first century—and has been making tens of thousands of her images available to the public free of charge since 1988.

July 28, 2016

Inti Guerrero Appointed Curator of the 2018 Ireland Biennial

Inti Guerrero

EVA International, the Ireland Biennial, has announced that Inti Guerrero was named curator of the Thirty-Eighth edition of the fair, which will be held from April 14 to July 9, 2018.

Born in Bogotá in 1983, Guerrero is currently a curator of Latin American art at Tate London and was previously associate artistic director and curator at the nonprofit TEOR/éTica in San José, Costa Rica. He is also curator of Neptune, a yearlong curatorial initiative in Hong Kong, and cocurator of “Aún: Yet, Still,” the Forty-Fourth Salón Nacional de Artistas in Pereira, Colombia. The Hong Kong–based curator studied history and theory of art and architecture at the University of Los Andes in Colombia and the University of São Paulo in Brazil, then completed the Curatorial Program at Amsterdam’s De Appel Arts Center.

The 2016 iteration of EVA International, “Still (the) Barbarians,” presented works by fifty-seven artists and drew over 100,000 local and international visitors.

July 28, 2016

Robert Miller Gallery Leaves Chelsea Location

The Robert Miller Gallery.

After sixteen years in its Chelsea location, Robert Miller Gallery has closed the doors to the space on West Twenty-Sixth Street. According to the gallery, they were evicted from the space and vacated on June 30th. A new location will be announced shortly.

The last exhibition hosted by the gallery was “Lee Krasner,” a survey show that spanned the artist’s five-decades-long career. The gallery represents artists such as Justin Allen, Diane Arbus, Paul Jenkins, Lee Krasner, Willem Oorebeek, and Patti Smith.

July 28, 2016

Tehching Hsieh to Represent Taiwan at the 2017 Venice Biennale

Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance, 1981–1982.

Taipei Fine Arts Museum has announced that performance artist Tehching Hsieh will represent Taiwan at the Fifty-Seventh edition of the Venice Biennale, which will be held from May 13 to November 26, 2017. Adrian Heathfield will curate the pavilion.

“This exhibition is a rare opportunity to show previously unseen early works that I made in Taiwan, and to develop new understandings of my One Year Performances in New York,” Hsieh said. “I am grateful for the support of the nominating committee, the director of TFAM Ping Lin, chief curator Chaoying Wu, and for the opportunity to collaborate with curator Adrian Heathfield.”

Born in 1950, Hsieh traveled to the United States in 1974 as an illegal immigrant. He is best known for his series of five One Year Performances, 1978–1986. Hsieh spent one year locked inside a cage, one year punching a time clock every hour, one year completely outdoors, one year tied to another person, and one year without making, viewing, discussing, reading about, or in any other way participating in art. Known for creating works that evoke collective cultural anxieties and explore the many existential dilemmas found within the modern human condition, the New York–based artist embarked on his “13-year plan,” the longest durational performance of his career in 1986. For over a decade the artist created art, but refused to show it publicly. Following this project, Hsieh declared he would stop making art altogether, but resurfaced in the art world in 2009.

July 28, 2016

Dutch Authorities Recover Stolen Salvador Dalí and Tamara de Lempicka Works

Dutch art detective Arthur Brand and La Musicienne, 1929, by Tamara de Lempicka

According to Victoria Stapley-Brown of Art Newspaper, Dutch art detective Arthur Brand has announced that two works stolen from a private museum in the Netherlands in 2009 have been recovered. Salvador Dalí’s Adolescence, 1941, and Tamara de Lempicka’s La Musicienne, 1929, were found in good condition.

On May 1, 2009, armed robbers had walked into the Scheringa Museum for Realist Art in Spanbroek, a village north of Amsterdam, during opening hours and took the two paintings from the wall, while threatening the museum staff with a gun.

Brand said that a criminal gang had the works and contacted him through an intermediary because they “did not want to find themselves guilty of the destruction or resale of works of art.” The canvases were given to Scotland Yard who will return them to their rightful owners.

July 28, 2016

Honolulu Biennial 2017 Names Ngahiraka Mason Curator and Reveals Theme


The Honolulu Biennial Foundation has announced that Ngahiraka Mason will curate the inaugural edition of the fair, which will be held from March 8 to May 8, 2017. Mason, who served as the curator of Indigenous Art, Maori Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in New Zealand for more than twenty years, collaborated with the biennial’s curatorial director Fumio Nanjo, the director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, to develop the theme and select the participating artists.

Titled, “Middle of Now | Here,” the Biennial focuses on how contemporary art from the Americas, Pacific, and Asia can engage with the cultural diversity of Hawaii. The artists will be asked to reflect on how our landscapes and lives are in a constant state of change and transformation, in turbulent and contradictory ways, and the archipelago’s role as a bridge between the East and the West in the twenty-first century.

The Biennial will exhibit works in various venues such as, Honolulu Hale, Foster Botanical Garden, and McCoy Pavilion, among others. An initial list of participating artists includes Brett Graham (New Zealand); Les Filter Feeders (Hawaii); Charlton Kupa’a Hee (Hawaii); Yuki Kihara (New Zealand/Samoa); Mohammed Kazem (UAE.); and Yayoi Kusama (Japan). The full list of artists will be announced in the fall.

July 27, 2016

Mohamed Khan (1942–2016)

Mohamed Khan

Mohamed Khan, a celebrated Egyptian film director who earned recognition for making films that tackle social issues in the 1980s, has died in Cairo at the age of seventy-three, Sam Roberts of the New York Times reports. Egypt’s actors’ union confirmed his death.

Born in Cairo to an Egyptian mother and a Pakistani father in 1942, Khan originally wanted to study architectural engineering in London, but changed course after was introduced to the London School of Film Technique by a friend. “My real school was being in London in the ’60s and experiencing all the cultural changes,” Khan said, “whether in music, fashion or, obviously, in films.” After working as an assistant director in Lebanon and London, Khan returned to Egypt in 1977, where he directed twenty-four feature films often featuring female protagonists.

Several of his films, including Streetplayer (1984), The Wife of an Important Man (1987), and Dreams of Hind and Camilia (1988) were featured on the “100 Greatest Arab Films of All Time” by the Dubai International Film Festival. Despite being a leading neorealist filmmaker in Egypt, Khan was only granted citizenship to the country in 2014 due to a law that declared mothers who married foreigners were not permitted to pass citizenship to their children.

His recent drama Factory Girl (2013), a global sensation about a female textile worker who does not accept her class status but falls in love with her boss, has won numerous prizes and was Egypt’s official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the eighty-seventh Academy Awards. Khan collaborated on the film with his wife, the screenwriter Wessam Soliman, with whom he had two children Hassan and Nadine, a film director whose debut film, Chaos, Disorder, won the Special Jury Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2012.

July 27, 2016

Design Plans for V&A Museum Outpost in London’s Olympicopolis Revealed

V&A East

In celebration of the four-year anniversary of the 2012 Olympics, the London Legacy Development Corporation has released design renderings of the Victoria and Albert Museum's new building, which will be constructed in East London on the former site that hosted the games.

V&A East will be a seven-story structure that will boast of 194,000 square feet of space, which the museum will share with Washington DC’s Smithsonian Institution, as previously reported. Designed by the London–based firm Allies and Morrison and Irish architects O’Donnell + Tuomey, the Cubist building featuring a brick and glass façade is part of a masterplan to develop a new educational and cultural district in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. V&A East will be located opposite of Zaha Hadid’s London Aquatics Center and adjacent to Sadler’s Wells, London College of Fashion, and the University College London.

Dubbed the museum for the digital age, the venue will allow the V&A to exhibit a larger portion of its over two million-object collection. It is expected to open to the public in 2021.

July 27, 2016

Florine Stettheimer and Rockwell Kent Paintings Surreptitiously Sold by Nashville’s Fisk University

Florine Stettheimer's Ashbury Park South, 1920.

Susan Mulcahy of the New York Times writes that Hazel O’Leary, former president of the historically black Fisk University in Nashville, surreptitiously sold off paintings by Florine Stettheimer and Rockwell Kent a number of years ago during a financially tumultuous period for the school.

When Fisk tried selling works from its famous Alfred Stieglitz collection—a gift to the school from Georgia O’Keeffe, Stieglitz’s widow—it violated the terms of the donation. A deal, however, was worked out with Arkansas’s Crystal Bridges museum and the school to share the collection, which brought Fisk a necessary $30 million.

When the Stettheimer painting, Ashbury Park South, 1920, was sold—which, along with the sale of the Kent, took place prior to the arrangement Fisk made with Crystal Bridges—it was the first time that a major work by the artist had come onto the market in twenty years (the Kent work was one of the artist’s paintings of Greenland). Lyndel King, chair of the Task Force for the Protection of University Collections and director of the Weisman Museum at the University of Minnesota said “Shame on [Fisk]. It’s very much against the ethics of our profession.” The task force doesn’t have any control over universities in these situations, but it can reprimand schools that try making these sales to cover operating costs, as this kind of gesture, said King, “alienates donors and undermines the purpose of having a museum on campus.”

It has not been revealed how much the Stettheimer was sold for. It’s believed that Michael Rosenfeld, the dealer who bought the painting, paid in the low six-figures for it. Francis Naumann, one of the few art dealers who’ve actually sold Stettheimer works, said it could actually be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million, as it is an important piece from the artist’s oeuvre.